Our Mission – to nourish and support the Arts in and around MK, increase participation in the arts by MK’s diverse population and to facilitate creative activity for which there is a need or appetite in MK.
We do this by providing
- Supportive and low cost co-working spaces for local creatives.
- Opportunities for local creatives to develop and showcase their practice.
- A wide range of volunteering opportunities
- Creative programmes, both on our own and collaborating with others, reflecting MK`s diverse population.
- Learning and teaching of new creative/artistic skills.
- Sustainable income and our own long-term home
Arts Gateway MK, and its predecessor MK Arts Association, has had many incarnations over its 35 year existence; from a self-help network of artists through to its current role as provider of services to MK`s Arts and Cultural sector, primarily delivering creative workspace at Burners Lane.
Arts Gateway MK exists to make a difference in MK and to its cultural infrastructure in whatever way we can. Our core business remains the provision of multi-genre creative hubs at Arts Central, currently at Burners Lane in Kiln Farm. We have more than doubled our scale of operation at Burners Lane to 75 studios and workspaces – well over half of MK`s overall provision. Alongside this we continue to deliver a variety of creative programmes from an increasing number of locations with a widening group of collaborating partners and serving a diversity of MK communities.
In 2019 we faced a number of challenges around how and what we deliver publicly. We have continued MK Litfest and in the future we envisage the development of bespoke space in which to reinvigorate mixed programme.
We are delighted to have previously received generous funding from the following bodies:
Meet the Team
Debby is an Arts Central resident and the Office Manager. She became a resident after volunteering when Arts Central first moved to Kiln Farm. She has since grown her artistic business, regularly attending fayres with her work. From January 2019 Debby took on the rewarding challenge of Office Manager and plays an important role in the continuing growth of Art Central and Arts Gateway MK.
Debby GriffinOffice Manager
Helen is founder of Helen Potter Bookkeeping Services, providing professional and reliable bookkeeping services within Milton Keynes. Certified as both a Quickbooks user and Xero user, she also has knowledge of Sage and Excel. Helen provides office support to the Arts Gateway MK team.
Helen PotterOffice Support
Jane is a textile artist and tutor, providing creative fabrics and creative days. She has worked with children as young as 4 playing with fabric crayons and colour through to retired ladies learning new skills in C&G’s. She enjoys inspiring people and sharing ideas, exhibiting work and thinking up new projects and directions for her own projects. Jane is a resident at Arts Central and helps provide office support to the Arts Gateway MK team.
Jane CharlesOffice Support
Hayden has worked as an artist, illustrator and designer/maker for 40 years. He enjoys creating everything from models to props and costumes for cosplay. Hayden makes gift and collectors boxes and he designs and creates fan art reproductions for our customers. He is heavily involved as a volunteer at Arts Gateway MK, fulfilling duties including Arts Central Facilities & Building Management and CARC Director. Hayden also mentors and advises new and emerging businesses particularly within the creative sector, much of which is voluntary through AGMK.
Hayden OttonBuilding & Facilities Manager
John Best is a town planner and urbanist, formerly CEO of MK Council, and now finding ways to put MK firmly on the cultural map through the work of Arts Gateway. He lives in New Bradwell, is involved in several waterways projects including as SE chair of the Canal & River Trust, and is an occasional bass guitarist.
John BestChair of Trustees
Joan Stewart volunteers at Arts Gateway and the Citizens Advice Bureau, has recently been learning more about the history of visual culture, and appreciates others’ creative endeavours. She worked for many years in software development at the Open University. She believes that the arts provide enjoyment, stimulation and enhance understanding of our complex world.
Chris has been working in Dance for two decades, performing, making and teaching Contemporary Dance and Dance Theatre, touring extensively, and has for many years been actively involved in Arts Gateway’s dance activities. He was a founder director of MÓTUS dance which in 2018 fledged from Arts Gateway to become an independent organisation, organising workshops and festivals in Milton Keynes and elsewhere. Actively involved in many aspects of the arts sector in the city he is very well positioned to promote the work and status of the AGMK, and ensure that dance continues to play an important part in our work.
Sam has worked in the financial sector for 26 years and is a a Chartered Financial Planner and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society. After starting in banking, she worked in several financial institutions before returning to banking, as an adviser for Barclays Wealth. Though working in Birmingham, she and her family have lived in Milton Keynes for 20 years, where she brings significant business connections to Arts Gateway`s activities. She is a longstanding Scout Leader in MK and brings experience of youth organisations and of fundraising.
Ryan Gillies is a Councilor for nearby Broughton & Milton Keynes Village Parish Council, and has a background in both the financial services and in startup businesses, haviing worked across a number of projects including one of his own in the F&B sector. Born and raised in Milton Keynes, he is a passionate advocate for both MK and the arts, having married a sculptor and being an amateur creative writer in his own right.